KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Mizzou football player has tested positive for COVID-19, but it has not yet affected practice or the status of Saturday’s game as they come off their bye week to face No. 12 University of Georgia.
While several games have been canceled across the Southeastern Conference, Mizzou hopes to have enough players to face Georgia.
On Tuesday, Head Coach Eli Drinkwitz said that the coronavirus tests on Sunday revealed one positive player. Contract tracing was “significant at a position," but he did not say how many players are out of practice. However, Drinkwitz said there is no outbreak.
“I think we went four straight weeks without a single positive, and now we have one and we got some significant contact tracing from the nature of that positive," Drinkwitz said, "and the No. 1 priority is the health and safety of our players and our team."
When it comes to reintroducing recovered players back to practice, Drinkwitz said Mizzou follows protocols set by the SEC Task Force, which is composed of leading epidemiologists and doctors in the conference.
There is a four-day re-acclimation period. On day one, there is light jogging and a workout. Days two, three and four, the player steadily increases his workload.
“We also do a series of protein tests, check the heart — Myocarditis still, which was something that was over the summer," Drinkwitz said. "So we do a complete physical and make sure that any player that's had the virus is healthy and deemed safe before they're able to play a full game or full contact."
As of now, Mizzou’s home game against Georgia is still on. Over the bye, Drinkwitz said the team focused on aspects of the game they have been struggling with.
“We got to practice ball security. We got to practice takeaway. We got to practice not busting coverage. We got to practice stopping the run. We got to practice running the football. We got practice running routes. We got practice catching the ball,” he said.